The trial of Professor Enrique Tierno Galvan, a prominent Catholic leader of the Spanish academic community, and 9 other co-accused commences on March 9 before the Special Court of Illegal Propaganda in Madrid.
Mr. Silverio Coppa, a well-known criminal lawyer from Rome has agreed to go to Madrid as an observer for the International Commission of Jurists. Mr. Coppa left Rome on March 8. He will follow the hearings of the trial and subsequently submit a report to the International Commission of Jurists.
On March 7 the Secretary-General of the Commission sent the following telegram to His Excellency Antonio Iturmendi, the Minister of Justice in Madrid:
“INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS REPRESENTING 39,000 JURISTS IN 62 COUNTRIES HONOUR INFORM YOU THAT SILVERIO COPPA DISTINGUISHED CRIMINAL LAWYER FROM ROME WILL ATTEND AS OBSERVER TRIAL PROFESSOR TIERNO GALVAN AND COACCUSED STOP WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR COOPERATION ALL ARANGEMENTS NECESSARY FOR ACCOMPLISHIMENT THIS PURPOSE STOP
LALIVE, SECRETARY GENERAL
Enrique Tierno Galvan was relieved of his duties as a Professor of Law at the University of Salamanca in October 1960 by the Government for political reasons. The others accused are as follows: Professor Raul Merodo a colleague of Professor Galvan and a well-known legal scholar; Dionisio Ridruejo, a Spanish poet and writer; Francisco Herrera Oria, a prominent Catholic layman and the brother of the Bishop of Malaga; Antonio Menchaca Careaga, a writer and business-man of Bilbao; Fernando Baeza, editor and publisher; Fermin Solana, a young writer; German Argumosa Valdès, a prominent public figure; Valentin Lopez and Ignacio Sotelo. The latter two are being tried in absentia.
The International Commission of Jurists is a non-Governmental and non-political organization which has Consultative Status, Category “B”, with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Its main objective is – through practical action – to clarify, promote and defend the Rule of Law, to strengthen the legal procedures and institutions associated therewith in those countries where the Rule of Law is already established and to obtain its acceptance wherever it is denied. Among its latest undertakings was the organization of an African Conference on the Rule of Law held in January, 1961, in Lagos Nigeria, where a great number of jurists met to discuss several topics relating to the administration of justice and fundamental rights in the new states of Africa.
In the field or publications the International Commission issued in 1960 a detailed report on South Africa and the Rule of Law and the report of its legal Inquiry Committee on Tibet and the People’s Republic of China.
At present Dr. Jean-Flavien Lalive, Secretary-General, and Mr. Edward S. Kozera, Administrative Secretary of the International Commission of Jurists, are visiting 17 countries in Latin America and the West Indies Federation to meet with jurists in that area of the world, explain in detail the purposes of the Commission and examine the legal system of the respective countries. Furthermore they will explore the possibilities of establishing National Sections or affiliates where these do not already exist and will also make preliminary arrangements for a World Congress of Jurists which it is hoped will be held in Latin America in 1962.AdvocacyOpen letters